Resolution progress

Monday, February 16th, 2009

As is fairly standard, week 6 of the New Year is either the death of most New Year resolutions. Well, that or a major slowdown. I had a bit of a slowdown, but I'm acknowledging it and getting back in control.

Mostly what has slowed down is the house cleaning. I've been slipping out of my good routines. I don't have very many, but the few I was doing consistently kept the house up pretty well. These included:

  • Making the bed in the morning
  • Filing/shredding mail same day
  • Emptying and filling the dishwasher at least once a day (usually while waiting for something to cook in the kitchen)
  • Putting things away when travelling from room to room
  • Putting toiletries away in the bathroom instead of cluttering up the sink
  • Picking up clothes at the end of the day

Tonight, I'm getting the house under control tonight and then I can focus!

My decluttering has slowed down as well. Luckily most of the big problems areas have been decluttered and I need to refocus on the small collections of stuff I have. I need to start working again on the following:

Writable VHS tapes
Over the years, I've taped a variety of things. Much of which was never watched. Its actually fun to go back and watch some of these tapes, or just fast forward through. I hear FreeGeek recycles tapes, so I hope to drop off whatever tapes I don't want at the end of this.

Burned DVDs and CDs
Compile and put in one binder. I have these all over the place and in a number of binders, cases, etc.

Frames
I have a bazillion empty frames at the moment. I need to select photos or art for each. This usually requires compiling them on the computer and getting them printed. Then matte, mount and hang. Frames that don't match our decor should be donated or sold on Craigslist.

Generic Art
This relates to above. I would rather feature custom art or photographs on our walls vs. the mass-produced Target-esque art I have a lot of now.

Craigslist
I still have a good number of salable items. I've donated lots of things that just weren't worth the time to manage on Craiglist, but some of the bigger ticket items have been selling off at a decent rate. I sold $185 worth of stuff last month. This month $35 so far, but have about another $100 pending e-mail replies today.

On a positive note, for the past few weeks my fitness routine has been good especially going well. I’ve been working out 5-6 times a week for at least 45 minutes. This is big. I'm starting to feel weird again when I skip a day. I want to save up to buy P90X which looks fun. I accidentally saw the infomercial for it. It looks good for someone already in OK shape but wants a little more challenge. Maybe Jeremy would do it with me as well. I'd have to buy a pull-up bar thingy, though. I don't think I've been able to do one pull-up ever in my life. So we'll see!

Our budget is going well too. We have 3 months of emergency funds now saved up! I would normally pay my car off first, but in this economy, I wanted a security blanket first. We can start accelerating the car payments next month. Yay!

Speed Cleaning Guide

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

I've miraculously gotten all my personal and business paperwork filed in a coherent way. This is huge! A laber maker sure makes it easier than I expected. I also went through all my old magazines and took out the pages I wanted to keep. After all this paperwork clean-up, we recycled a ton this week! I also got a good tip to sign-up to limit junk mail at DMA Choice and credit card offers at Opt-Out Prescreen.

Through all my sorting, I found this really cool little fold-out guide to speed cleaning.
It's very handy, so I made a pdf of it to print out:

speed cleaning guide

Most of our bins are cleaned out and I've listed a bunch of stuff on craigslist to sell. Current project for this weekend is to clean out my car and hopefully list it for sale. Its the only thing keeping us from being debt free except the house. Yay for no more credit card debt or worries!

I also have a bunch of old unlabeled VHS tapes that I've unpacked. I'm going through them and figuring out what is on each to get rid of unnecessary ones as well. So far I've watched "The Secret" that my mom sent a year or two ago. It was actually really interesting. Decluttering 2009 is off to a great start!

A Richer Life with Less Stuff

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Yay for money I wasn't paying attention to! $40 in Discover rewards, $50 in change to cash out at Coinstar, and about $100 in store returns I'll be making this weekend, random $9 refund check, $15 in bank account interest. There is money around when I look hard enough.

Hopefully I can do about 8 hours of work this weekend to make up for some vacation time off and make some extra cash designing business cards and letterhead for my tile contractor.

Last night I finished reading "It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff" by Clean Sweep's Peter Walsh. Great book to help me keep up my momentum!

I am totally amazed at the amount of progress I've had with Flylady in the past 5 or 6 months without even REALIZING it. Our master bedroom is completely decluttered including the closets and drawers. I even filled up an extra bag worth of purges I did yesterday.

I finished unpacking our master bathroom with storage room to spare! I donated a box full of unused personal care products and threw out a lot of expired items.

There are empty cupboards in the kitchen and there will be more space as I plan to sell of any antique glass I don't really "love." Less to store until our living room and dining room are done.

I've been trying to keep to a specific system. Once the house is clean, THEN I can sort and declutter one area or bin a day, only sotring through what I can in an hour or two. I still need to go through about 15 storage bins stashed around the house, mostly items that haven't been unpacked since March 2007. I've went through 5 this past week. We now have a big stack of empty bins that I'll probably unload on Craigslist or something.